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Penta Career Center to honor 7 grads who've achieved outstanding success

The Penta Career Center will recognize seven outstanding alumni at an awards ceremony Wednesday.

The award recognizes people who finished a high school or adult education program at Penta before 1996 and are now working in a successful career. It's been given to 78 Penta alumni since in 1993.

For Pat Curtin, the award came as a surprise. As a member of the career center's board of education since 2000, he has attended past awards banquets.

"I was always impressed with the recipients," he said.

He said serving on the board - this year as president - is an honor in itself.

"It's my way of giving back for what Penta did for me," he said.

Award recipients said they owed a lot to their educations at Penta.

"Everything I've done since I left Penta, with my career, I learned there," Steven Curtis, who studied drafting, said.

Shortly after he graduated from Otsego High School in 1979, Doehler-Jarvis hired him as a draftsman. He later moved to the Detroit Stoker Company, with which he has worked in a variety of computer-aided design and drafting positions for 25 years.

Mr. Curtis has served on the advisory board for the career center's computer-aided design program since 1999. He said it's a way of helping out the students and the school.

"Penta's a good place to start a career," he said.

Mr. Curtin said the lessons he learned applied not only to carpentry, but also to life: Don't be afraid to make mistakes, because you can't avoid them. Learn from them.

"What I learned at Penta has helped prepare me for what I do today," he said.

After he graduated from Maumee High School in 1977, he worked for several lumber companies as a carpenter, salesman, and manager. For 12 years he ran his own business, Bucher Lumber, and joined The Gordon Lumber Company in 2001 in outside sales.

Lisa Mattin, who co-owns three businesses and works as a secretary and word processing specialist at the Medical University of Ohio, said she got her confidence and drive to succeed from Penta's word processing program. She graduated from Maumee High School in 1985 and from Lourdes College in 2004.

She also met her husband, Dale, at Penta. Together they opened The Button Factory, which makes buttons for political races and fund-raisers, the Snapshots Portrait Studio, and Smiley's Delivery Service.

This year's other honorees are:

●Thomas Berkebile, an electrical engineer with Magna International in Novi, Mich., who completed the automotive technology program and graduated from Perrysburg High School in 1981.

●Jarrad Egert, an engine tuner for a NASCAR driver affilated with Joe Gibbs Racing in North Carolina. Mr. Egert completed the automotive technology program and graduated from Woodmore High School in 1995.

●Patricia K. Hyland, a school psychologist with Maumee City Schools who completed the early childhood education program and graduated from Perrysburg High School in 1976.

●Danilynn M. Miller, a Sylvania police sergeant who completed the security and law enforcement program and graduated from Anthony Wayne High School in 1990.

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